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Opponent announced for Cristiane Santos’ return to the ring

After being away from action since June 2010, featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos will return to the Strikeforce cage on December 17 to defend her title against Hiroko Yamanaka. The match-up was announced during the Strikeforce Challengers 19 broadcast and ends a period of limbo due to the Brazilian’s contractual status.

Santos’ reputation as the most ferocious female in MMA is well-earned after finding success in ten straight including eight strike-based stoppages. She has finished all four opponents she’s faced in Strikeforce including victories over Marloes Coenen, Gina Carano, and most recently Jan Finney.

Stylistically, Yamanaka creates an interesting match-up given her ability on the ground. A 12-1 grappler out of Japan, the 32-year old Yamanaka is currently on an eight-fight winning streak.

Also on the card a lightweight title bout between champion Gilbert Melendez, coming off an impressive showing against Tatsuya Kawajiri, and number one contender Jorge Masvidal, who earned his title shot after defeating K.J. Noons last June.


  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Who cares? Got nothing against women’s MMA but, Cyborgs fights are like a back alley beatdown. She can’t make weight and her opponent is horribly undersized and outclassed. So they find some Asian submission artist who will prolly be giving up 20 pounds on fight night and will get rag-dolled and mugged until the point the ref steps in before it becomes a homicide.

    I just don’t see a current future for women’s MMA until there are more top level women in multiple weight classes.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Anyone want to tell me who is gonna beat Cyborg and maybe 2 or 3 others who are next in line to get a title shot?

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    Jose Aldo-Kenny Florian-Diego Nunes-and possibly Chad Mendes

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  • Niv says:

    Mad_Hatter if your problem here is that there seems to be nobody that can beat her, then I’d say you must have no interest in John Jones.

    At this moment he’s looking unbeatable, with maybe 2 or 3 intriguing match-ups at most for him. A healthy Shogun, Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida. If he beats all of those guys what’s left?

    I personally enjoy watching how dominant this gal can be.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I;m glad Cyborg is around; any female fighters who don’t really have their heart in the fight game will be mortified if they ever have to face her. A frighteningly powerful champion is what the division needs to grow actually; I’d rather have a figure-head like Mrs. Cyborg than a wishy-washy barbie doll like Carano.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    If Cyborg’s belt was on the line, Florian wouldn’t win.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    And I have to agree with MadHatter’s assessment of Cyborg’s match ups. That’s a problem for women’s MMA, because there’s already less interest compared to men’s MMA. If the women’s fights aren’t competitive and exciting, there will be even less interest.

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  • Dufresne says:

    I love women’s MMA, but it does suffer from a lack of depth. At the same time though, women’s MMA has just recently gotten big enough to draw attention which means more talents should be coming in pretty soon.

    The thing that worries me is that Cyborg Santos is now in about the same position as Laila Ali was back after she beat Joe Frazier’s daughter. She’s a dominant champ, but she’s already beaten the fighter considered their biggest test and she beat her soundly. Laila beat Jackie Frazier-Lyde and after that public interest more or less evaporated while women’s boxing hasn’t come close to reaching the level of prominence it had going into that fight. Cyborg took out the main face of women’s MMA in Carano a couple of years ago, now I guess we see if anyone steps up to fill that void or if women’s MMA will go the way of women’s boxing.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    The only positive I can cling to, is that MMA is still surging in popularity — not waning like boxing now and at the time — and that people’s views on female fighters have improved.

    Personally, if you respect women at all you should let them fight if they want to.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Cyborg should fight Brett Rogers…Even things out for his wife a bit.

    I’d say tie one arm Behind his back but I doubt she would need it.

    Rogers gets no fight purse it’s just part of his community service hours.

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